Jack Easy, a midshipman aboard the Harpy during the Napoleonic Wars. The ship wins naval battles, captures Spanish vessels, and rescues shipwrecked criminals. When Jack falls in love with Agnes Rebiera, a faked carriage accident keeps him in Sicily with Gascoigne long enough to court her and overcome her father’s objections to their marriage. The underaged Jack returns to England for his father’s consent and finds that his mother is dead. His father dies shortly thereafter. Now wealthy, he gives up the sea and marries Agnes.
Dr. Middleton, an advocate of the survival of the fittest who rescues Jack from a doting mother and a father who has preached to his son an oversimplified philosophy of the equality of all people.
Captain Wilson, a poor Easy relative, captain of the warship Harpy and later of the Aurora. He signs Jack aboard because of a thousand-pound debt he owes to Jack’s father.
Gascoigne (gas-KOYN), another midshipman who shares adventures with Jack. He eventually settles in Hampshire as a country gentleman on Jack’s large estate.
Mesty, an Ashantee who is loyal to Jack because Jack treats him as an equal. Once he accepts a bribe from the Rebiera family priest to kill Jack, but he uses the poison on the priest.
Don Rebiera (reh-bee-EH-rah), a wealthy Sicilian captured with his family by Jack and released. Sometime later, driven ashore by a storm, Jack rescues Don Rebiera from would-be assassins who have invaded his villa to murder him. Jack again saves Don Rebiera when freed galley slaves, among them one of the would-be murderers, besiege the villa.
Agnes Rebiera, Don Rebiera’s lovely daughter, who inspires Jack’s love and becomes his wife.